Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


5 Comments

Valentine’s Day Can Be Whatever Works

Image

Photo by JoAnne Silvia

I’m often curious about the true meaning of holidays, beyond the commercialism and promotions of our popular culture. In researching the origins of Valentine’s Day, I discovered there was more than one guy named Valentine. There were at least three martyrs named Valentine who were killed for helping Christians in one way or another. One romantic legend suggests there was a priest named Valentine who secretly helped young lovers get married against the law set by the Roman Emperor, Claudius II.

Now Valentine’s day has sent us scurrying about buying cards and candy or flowers, and perhaps going on a romantic date with our sweetheart. But what if you’re not in a romantic relationship? What if you’re not even  close to having one of those? It can feel a bit lonely. I remember.

During my five years of celibacy, I decided to make Valentine’s Day about more than romance, unless you count romance with yourself. Can you have romantic love with yourself? It depends on how you define romance. One definition is: a love affair. Why not be in love with yourself? Not in a narcissistic way, but in a nurturing way. In those dry spells, when I felt lonely, I bought myself flowers and learned to say, “I love you,” in the mirror without feeling silly-though feeling silly is not always a bad thing. One Valentine’s Day, I even got myself a massage. This kind of nurturing self love is, I believe, a prerequisite for a healthy relationship with some one else. I had to learn to love myself before I could be ready to love and be loved by my soul mate.

There is also nothing wrong with using Valentine’s Day as a reminder to express platonic love to friends and familial love to siblings, parents, children and even our dogs who love us so unconditionally.

Which brings me to God. God and dogs love us unconditionally. See the sweet video by Wendy Francisco at http://www.godanddog.org/

This kind of love is often called Agape. (pronounced Uh-gop-ay).

Allow yourself to feel that love from God. Let it comfort you like a soft warm blanket…… or a gentle healing light that touches the top of your head and flows gently through your whole being as you breathe slowly and deeply. Opening to the peace and comfort of agape might take practice. But know this: God is really good at this kind of love.  God loves us no matter what. Forever. That doesn’t mean God is going to give us what we want when we want it. Like a loving parent, God knows what we need. And, as I’ve learned, God has perfect timing.

Let Valentine’s Day be about what ever kind of love you want.  Let it be about every kind of love you want. Remember to include yourself in your circle of compassion.

For another perspective on the day of love check out this post on Wilmington Faith and Values:

http://wilmingtonfavs.com/2014/02/12/loveheart-conjunction/


3 Comments

When Looking for a Soul Mate, Be Happy with You.

Do what makes you happy.

Do what makes you happy!

(It’s possible to find your soul mate when you stop looking.)

      At the beginning of each year I make a collage about what I want in my life in the  new year. The tradition was started by a church member one New Year’s Eve, and now continues as part of our annual Epiphany Party for the family and friends of Good Shepherd Church. (All are welcome!)  After my divorce, my collages always included something about a soul mate, or at least a compatible partner, along with pictures and words representing good health, creativity, healing and nature. Collage making has always been great fun, even when I took it too seriously.

   I made a collage booklet once in a workshop about manifesting your goals. I dedicated a whole page to manifesting a partner who would be compatible with me. He had to love dogs. So, I had a magazine picture of a guy and his dog running toward a photo of me and my two dogs. I had a picture of a man and a woman gazing at a beautiful mountain. I wrote in colorful markers about all the qualities I was looking for in a soul mate. The workshop facilitators said we would be amazed at how fast our dreams would come true if we just believe. I believed fiercely.

     So, as the years went by, I started to wonder what my soul mate was up to. What was taking him so long?

     Becoming tired of fretting about my soul mate, I worked on turning the whole thing over to God.  I tried not care.  Books about about the advantages of being single helped. Look at all the great things single women have accomplished. Just look at Mother Theresa, for example. I realized that it was quite possible to be satisfied with being single. And I had learned the hard way that it’s better to be single than to be with someone who adds a lot of stress to your life. Yet, I still wanted a compatible partner. In time, I became gentle with myself. I realized that wanting a partner was a natural thing and quit beating myself up about it.

     While  trying not to look for my soul mate, and keeping my eyes open just in case  he came along, I decided to explore what made me happy.  I tried out for some plays that I was not cast in. I went to the monthly “hippie drumming” event of the Saturday African drum circle. This led to free form dancing and chanting and feeling completely accepted. I experimented with a bit of improvisational dance mobbing on the street with some of those same people.

Have fun with Positive People.

Have fun with Positive People.

     I volunteered for clean ups at the lake where my daughter and I got to see lots of turtles and an alligator who kept looking back at us while swimming away from our canoe.  Instead of avoiding romantic movies completely,  I learned to enjoy a bit of romance vicariously, from the safety of my recliner.

    In little ways, I started to create space, to make room for my soul mate.  I got rid of stuff  in my garage, saying to myself,  someday the right man will make this his workshop. (Now it is completely full of my soul mate’s workshop stuff.) I put two lawn chairs next to each other in the back yard where my soul mate and I would later sit and talk by the fire. I hung a ceramic heart in the relationship corner of my living room according to a bit of feng shui I heard somewhere. The most important thing I did was to make room in my own heart by forgiving those who I felt betrayed by. The forgiving was not easy. It was a 10 year process.

Do what you love.

Do what nurtures your spirit.

      I didn’t know then what I know now. As I was getting ready for my soul mate, he was getting ready for me. Maybe he wasn’t doing this consciously for me, but he was working on personal growth and development in some really important ways. We were each working on ourselves as individuals. We were learning the lessons we needed to learn to be ready to work on ourselves and our partnership together.  It took longer than I thought it should have, but in retrospect, the timing was perfect. (That’s why our book is called: Perfect Timing.)

    So, while you’re waiting, work on YOU! Before you can find the right person, you have to be the right person for yourself.  Be the best, happiest, smartest you that you can be. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. Be healthy. Explore what gives you peace and fulfillment. What are the constants in your life that have always brought you strength?  Work on that project you didn’t have time for when you were distracted by someone who wasn’t right for you. Nurture friendships with positive people. Work on forgiving those who have hurt you, even if you need to keep them at a distance for your own well being. Most of all, love yourself! Look in the mirror and say, I love you!  I know it might feel strange at first, but do it anyway.  Experiment with looking in your own eyes and telling yourself how beautiful you are. It gets easier with practice.  Don’t worry about the timing. God has great plans for you!

          And Be careful what you ask for. Now I have 5 dogs.

A dog can be a girl's best friend.

A dog can be a girl’s best friend.